How did the Cuban Missile Crisis affect relations between the United States and the Soviet Union?
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In the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis, both sides realized how close they had come to nuclear war. While the Soviet withdrawal marked a major embarassment for Khrushchev, and some among Kennedy's advisors were disappointed that the US had compromised, the leaders of both sides recognized the need for increased communication between the Kremlin and the White House. Kennedy and Khrushchev agreed to establish a direct telegraph link soon after the crisis, and it remained in place, along with a phone line that was added later, throughout the Cold War. The United States also removed Cuba as a possible flashpoint by promising not to invade the island nation, and while removing nuclear missiles from Turkey was largely a symbolic gesture, it did help relax tensions. It is also worth noting that after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the focus of the Cold War largely shifted away from direct standoffs between the Soviets and Americans toward proxy wars and military interventions in locations around the developing world.
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